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How to be Inexperienced Like a Pro – In a Turbulent World Everyone is a Novice

Inexperience is a state of opposites. In some, inexperience is caution, doubt, and paralysis. In others, inexperience is naïve boldness.

The disadvantage of inexperience is also its advantage – ignorance.


#1. Inexperience doesn’t know what can’t be done.

“We tried that, and it didn’t work,” is the voice of experience choking innovation.

Naïveté is a gift to Dreamers and an alarm to Doers.

#2. Inexperience underestimates difficulty.

Experience exchanges the bright-eyed luster of children for clear focus learned in the crucible of failure and success.

#3. Inexperience gets excited easily.

Experience is steady-on.

#4. Inexperience is not as smart as it thinks, and neither is experience.

The person who stops learning eventually becomes a fool.

4 ways to be inexperienced like a pro:

Moving up makes you inexperienced again.

#1. Practice humility.

Listen to the voice of experience, but make up your own mind.

#2. Ask intelligent questions.

Turn toward experienced leaders and ask, “What should I be asking?”

Other intelligent questions include…

  1. What’s next?
  2. What’s important about this?
  3. Who might know?
  4. What are we learning?
  5. Who needs to know?

The best thing rookie leaders can know is that they don’t know. (That goes double for experienced leaders.)

#3. Talk things over AND make decisions.

Inexperience is known for extremes – all talk and no action or all action and no listening.

#4. Constantly build relationships.

You’re going to ask experienced people to do things they might not want to do. It will go easier if they know you respect them.


The cure for inexperience is trying things.

You prolong inexperience when you avoid new experiences.

Advance the potential of inexperienced team members by helping them try things.

  1. Assign short-term projects.
  2. Debrief frequently. Trying things is the path to learning only if you create learning opportunities.
  3. Respond respectfully to responsible failure.

What would you add to the above list, 4 Ways to be Inexperienced Like a Pro?

How might leaders maximize inexperience? Their own? Others?

Added resource: Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work: Liz Wiseman

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